Morning Sickness – My personal experience

Before I fell pregnant (and yes I was a midwife) I used to think that morning sickness was all in the mind – psychological so to speak.  Women would be telling me that they were vomiting and sick 24/7 ….but I never believed them.  And then I fell pregnant!

I honestly do not know why it is called morning sickness.  I call it ‘all day sickness’.  Morning sickness can have deliberating power.

Morning sickness can start about 2 weeks after the period was due and will generally begin to settle at  about the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy.  Unfortunately  for some women, like myself, it can continue beyond this time.  Sometimes right to the end.

My pregnancies seemed to defy logic.  Unlike all of my friends over the 40 weeks of pregnancy (although I have never reached that far) I’d lose weight and then gain it postnatally!

Morning sickness may make you feel constantly nauseous, or bring on ‘waves’ of nausea at different times of the day.  As a result of my pregnancies, I can no longer go on amusement rides ….. they give me that ‘feeling’ and all those hideous memories come flooding back.

My first pregnancy was the worst. – 24/7 for the ENTIRE pregnancy.  We weren’t even trying to fall pregnant at the time.  For weeks I walked around the house feeling constantly nauseous.  Being a midwife I didn’t even click to the up and coming events!  Then it all fell apart.  I was at work and that ill feeling quickly presented and was coming up fast.  I remember it clearly.  Our staff toilet was right next to the desk.   Lets just say when I came out everyone had that ‘so we are pregnant?’ look on their faces.  Obviously it’s the first thing that comes to mind working in a maternity unit.

I soon came accustom to carrying an ice cream container on the passenger seat and I knew exactly where I could stop my car when required to do the obvious!  I even changed my direct route to and from work – as for those who know Brisbane; Ipswich Road leaves little space for a car to pull over.  I craved cheeseburgers and even though I knew what the end result would be I would eat them.  There were days when I just gave in and would spend the day lying on my bathroom floor with a pillow – too proud to contact my obstetrician and inform him of my whereabouts.  I was a midwife ….. we don’t suffer this ‘morning sickness’!!!!

Just to let you know, my baby (a boy) wasn’t effected in anyway what-so-ever.  In fact he thrived being born 4.2kg at just 36 weeks!

My second pregnancy, I knew I was pregnant even before I peed on that stick ….. that nauseous feeling had returned.  Positive point, this time it came in waves.  I took it all in my stride and had it down pat.  Little bits of food and water all day saw me through the worst.  I would arrive at work and the girls knew what type of day I was in for by my shade of green.  I would carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with me – EVERYWHERE.  Teaching antenatal classes I would make up an activity (very quickly sometimes), excuse myself and then return.  Looking back I do wonder how I did it.

Although morning sickness was horrible, in some weird way the vomiting reassured me that my hormones were doing what they were supposed too.  I tried to embrace it, although I have to admit many times it got the better of me and many a tear was shed. I was a lot wiser second time around and told my obstetrician.  IV fluids became my best friend.  Dehydration and being tired also seemed to trigger the vomiting too.  It was early to bed and late to rise.  Other days …. Who knows what – I just went into survival mode.

This baby (a girl) didn’t suffer either weighting in at 4kg at 37 weeks.

My 3rd pregnancy …. Lets just say I knew I was pregnant from very early on and that he was a boy …. It was my first pregnancy all over again.  Enough said I think.  He didn’t suffer either (although he was the smallest of all) tipping the scales at 3.9kg at 38 weeks.

So from personal experience here are my tips for morning sickness:

Don’t take drugs of any kind, unless your doctor has prescribed them – knowing you are pregnant.

Don’t stress about the baby.  Babies will take what they need from you and your body’s stores.  If you cannot tolerate anything – then you must seek medical attention.

DEFINITELY eat before your feet hit the ground in the morning.  And crackers aren’t going to cut it.  I found low GI foods – like raisin toast perfect.  Then lie down for as long as humanly possible.

DEFINITELY eat, preferably a protein (like an egg or cheese) before going to bed to help stabiles you blood sugar level overnight.

Go with your cravings – it’s your body’s way of telling you what it needs.  As long as you not craving dirt or other inappropriate materials that is.

If it is bad and you can’t tolerate anything – contact your chosen health care professional and/or present to your local A&E department and get some IV fluids – it will make a huge difference.

Keep your fluids up.  Small sips all day. Water is best. Icy poles are fantastic and when the going gets tough – sports drinks (now available in sugar free) are great

Small meals and/or snacking all day. An empty stomach tends to trigger nausea.  But rather than just having a dry cracker – have a dry cracker with some low fat cheese. Do a little research on low GI foods and menu plans – they might just get you through.

Make sure you are taking a good pregnancy multivitamin.  I strongly recommend one you only have to take once a day instead of twice a day.  Take it in the middle of the day to have the best chance of keeping it down.  If you aren’t tolerating them – have a few days off and then start again.

If cooking smells send you off get that partner of yours in the kitchen.  You should only entire the kitchen once the meal has been served.  This way avoiding the dreaded cooking smells

Obviously no 2 pregnancies are the same and what works for one isn’t always going to work for another.  If these tips fail to help, or if you have severe nausea and vomiting and can’t tolerate any food or fluids, contact your chosen health care provider. And remember, for most women morning sickness resolves by week 12-14 of pregnancy.


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